Some Hispanics are critical of what they call ' unfair targeting' by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Sunday, August 1st 2004, 6:07 pm
By: News On 6

Members of the Hispanic Soccer League are upset with what they say is "unfair targeting" by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

They say dozens of Hispanics were given citations and had their cars towed during a soccer game last month.

News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger says the OHP says 50 citations were given and 18 cars were towed near Catoosa because folks at the soccer game didn't have driver's licenses or proof of insurance.

Members of the Hispanic Soccer League believe they're being singled out because of their race. Jose Alvarado says he was given a citation for not having a valid license. He says OHP troopers set up a checkpoint at the entrance of the Valley Park Sports Complex and checked each vehicle.

OHP says they often get complaints from neighbors about illegal parking along the road leading to the sports complex. Alvarado says it's unfair. OHP trooper Eddie Kirkland: "We will continue to hold check points- don't anticipate us being there." Lieutenant Kirkland says it's the law to have a driver's license and insurance if you're driving on Oklahoma roads. He says OHP sets up checkpoints in that area at least once a week because they have so many complaints from residents.

The Hispanic League says the state makes it difficult for undocumented Hispanics to get drivers licenses, but they drive anyway because they have to get to work.